Posts Tagged ‘ Build ’

The Only Shades That Will Make You Feel Like A Kid Again.


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The Nano-Block sunglasses are a pair of sunglasses that let you attach lego blocks to the frames in any way shape or form so that you can have a different look every day and become the weirdo you’ve always wanted to be. One day you can have a castle atop the bridge of your glasses, the next a phallus shaped object, and the next a beard made from LEGO blocks.  You want a pair?  Just click here.

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Micro-Robots


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We’re all familiar with ant colonies, where every tiny creature is running around doing just what it needs to. Well it looks like SRI International has taken inspiration from the giant mounds of insects, to create their own swarms of tiny worker robots that can put together mechanical assemblies and electronic circuits.

Diamagnetic Micro Manipulation (DM3) uses tiny magnets that move under a circuit board, to get the micro-robots to follow a set pattern based on a set of preprogrammed instructions. The system can be set up so just one or a couple of robots are working together, or you can have giant groups of them moving together in sync like some bizarre gymnastics routine. Despite their tiny size, the robots can move up to a foot in a single second, so they can haul around your micro manufacturing supplies pretty swiftly.

SRI says that DM3 can be used for prototyping parts, electronics assembly, biotech lab-on-a-chip experiments, and assembling small mechanical systems in hostile environments. Eventually they plan to scale up the technology, by developing a manufacturing head containing thousands of the little buggers that can build much larger assemblies.

As you might expect, the funding comes from the military, and is part of DARPA’s Open Manufacturing program.

Check out the video where you can see swarms of the micro-robots moving in unison, and then as a couple of them work together to build some pretty amazing truss structures. They even manage to dispense the super glue used to hold the rods together without getting it all over their fingers and sticking everything together.

Nike SB Build Floating Skatepark in NYC


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A shipment of skateboarding history has arrived in New York City. As part of the Go Skateboarding Day, Nike SB have created a floating skatepark on a barge just off New York City. The park pays homage to some of the city’s most legendary spots with replica banks, ledges, and stair sets from places like Brooklyn Banks, OG Seaport benches, and Pyramid Ledges. Unfortunately for NYC skaters, the park will only be around for two days from 22 – 23 June, 2013.

Picturesque Foodscapes by Carl Warner


At first glance, the following images look like painted landscapes, including towering hills, picturesque houses and stormy sea in the background. But if you look more closely you will see that the stormy sea was made of cabbage, trees are broccoli or celery and the hills are freshly baked bread. These aren’t paintings but true photos. And everything you can see in the photo is made of real food. Pictures were created by London photographer Carl Warner who made specialty of these food landscapes or how I like to call them “foodscapes”. In recent years he has been commissioned by many advertising agencies throughout Europe to produce his distinctive images for clients in the food industry.

The process is very time consuming, and so the food quickly wilts under the lights. Carl says”

I tend to draw a very conventional landscape as I need to fool the viewer into thinking it is a real scene at first glance. It is the realization of what the real ingredients are that brings a smile, and for me that’s the best part.

These images can take two or three days to build and photograph, with a couple more days spent retouching and fine tuning the images to blend all the elements together. Carl devotes a lot of time to planning each image before he starts shooting, and he spends a lot of time staring at vegetables in supermarkets.

Futuristic Bike “The Detonator”.


The Cosmic Motors Detonator is an unique concept created by German automotive futurist Daniel Simon for his futuristic vehicle design company, “Cosmic Motors”. Simon calls this futuristic bike a “street cruiser bike built for humanoid droids.” Simon obtained his degree in vehicle design in 2001 at the University of Applied Science in Pforzheim, Germany. After completion, Simon went to Barcelona and designed concept cars for Bugatti and Lamborghini, followed by five years at the VW Group’s Advanced Studio where he is currently designing virtual vehicles for his brand Cosmic Motors. He has published a book, “Comic Motors” and continues to offer his services to premium carmakers while designing his own concepts.

The ‘Contour’ Machine That Can Print A House.


Amazing advancements have been made in 3D-printing technology, but designer Sebastian Bertram has taken it a step further, expanding the capabilities of 3D printing to large-scale 3D building. The Contour Crafter aims to keep up with demand for housing in urban areas with a construction method that combines industrial production and the technique of rapid prototyping. The robot “prints” contours of a building shell layer by layer using fast-drying concrete. Within just a couple of weeks, an entire estate could be produced.

GM’s Smart Glass Brings The Future To Life.


Long car rides, typically of the road trip variety can often be exhausting in their monotony and isolation. We don’t often think of car rides as anything more than a means of reaching a destination. We become disassociated with the other people, cars and environments that are inevitably surrounding us.

GM’s new Windows of Opportunity project was begun to explore innovative ways to use interactive technologies to create a more interesting driving experience. The project, which was inspired by psychological studies that show passengers typically feel disconnected from their environments, uses smart glass to generate augmented reality digital layers over passing landscapes.

The company commissioned students from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel to explore unique ways to use the smart glass technology. They were given full creative control to develop different applications regardless of whether they would be produced. The apps are primarily games but help to cultivate a stronger relationship between their users and their environments.

The TetraBox Light.


Designer Ed Chew takes a green step in the right direction with the TetraBox lamp, a light object made from discarded drink packets that would have otherwise ended up in landfills already packed to the brim. The design is achieved by unfolding the packets and refolding them into hexagonal and pentagonal sections that are then pieced together to form a geodesic sphere or any other desired shape. Here, the Epcot-like ball makes an attractive overhead light and casts an impressive web of shadows and shapes on the surrounding space.  Super dope.

Old School ‘Do It Yourself’ Ads.


Anytime we see ad’s from the 30’s or 40’s, things just strike us as odd.  (I know for me in particular, the ads the say cigarets improve your health), but things in general just kind of didn’t make sense.  That was never more apparent when I saw a collection of Do It Yourself Ads from that time period.  People were advertising things that didn’t make sense, would take years of expertise to accomplish, or were just downright impossible.  But in the 30’s and 40’s, I guess it was perfectly fine to sell nothing but a dream.

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Phonograph: June 1919

Can’t afford a phonograph? Try building one yourself. The Modern Phonograph Supply Company offered blueprints, diagrams, and metal parts to customers who were confident enough to construct 1919’s hottest gadgets by themselves. The Makafone cost just one-fourth the price of a regular machine of equal quality, came with a bundle of free records, and could be sold for a profit of $50 – $75.

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Erector Set: December 1935

During the holiday season, we advertised A.C. Gilbert’s No. 7 1/2 Motorized Erector set as a last-minute Christmas present. What boy wouldn’t uphold “25 pounds of scientific thrills” as the world’s greatest toy? As the illustration shows, this kit could actually produce hundreds of different steam shovels, ferries wheels, airships, automobiles, and more. The kit also came with a toy motor for additional realism.

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Telescope Lens Kit: April 1941

Do-it-yourself telescope kits might be common nowadays, but you’d be hard-pressed to find parts that cost just $1.95. Brownscope’s 100x telescope lens kit, which was suited for refracting telescopes, came with two astronomical eyepieces and one polished objective lens. As if you weren’t saving enough money by buying an inexpensive lens, the advertisement also recommended making a profit by charging people to look through your newly-upgraded telescope.

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Trailer Shell: June 1949

A 12-foot trailer for $299? Sounds like a sweet deal to us. DIY trailer kits from U-BUILD-IT came with everything you could possibly need for a basic shell: windows, doors, exterior panels, tires, roof ends, and a chassis, to name a few. The kit required no experience and no expensive tools.

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Magic Art Reproducer: January 1958

Now, this advertisement is a little vague about how the product actually works, but what can you expect from a $2 mystery gadget described as a “magic art reproducer”? According to the description, this tool would turn real-life objects into faint line drawings. With a little bit of tracing, talentless artists would be able to sketch everything from the human body, to bowls of fruit, to blueprints at a professional level.

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Electronic Organ: March 1960

While fine organs take years of training to construct, this DIY kit allowed just about anyone to build their own electronic organ for just $18.94. You could also order a 10-inch LP demonstration record for further instruction.

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Fireplace: September 1967

While a DIY fireplace seems like a challenging, even hazardous, home project, The Majestic Company claimed that you could build their wood-burning fireplaces without any expensive tools or masonry. It could fit in any room (except the bathroom, of course) and came in a variety of styles. You could choose from a corner fireplace, a front model, and pick either real brick tops or synthetic brick tops.

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Gyrocopter: November 1968

Speaking of hazards, how about the Bensen Aircraft Corporation’s build-it-yourself gyrocopter? Anyone who bought this would be the envy of his neighborhood. The gyrocopter came with interchangeable wheels and floats, required less landing space than a plane, and would glide gracefully to the ground if the engine broke… Or so it says on the box.

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Kit-a-Month Program: November 1969

While most of our DIY kits catered to home construction and car modification, we certainly indulged readers with a penchant for science projects. For just a $1.00 enrollment fee, and $4.95 per kit, you could make your own analog computer, light transmitter-receiver, weather station, atomic energy lab, and more. Members could either receive the kit on a monthly basis, or they could order all the projects at once for $49.50.

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Jet Powered Space Ranger: December 1977

Maybe we should just end the gallery here because clearly, nothing can beat this mail order item. The Space Ranger could reach a height of 5,000 feet, could take off and land vertically, and ran on “easily obtainable fuel.” Despite its fantastical appearance, the Space Ranger could be easily assembled in just a few days (supposedly). The entire thing cost 250 pounds and was available for a mere $5,795.

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DIY Sports Cars: October 1982

Embarrassed by your unsightly Corvair? Try outfitting it with a glamorous bolt-on body. With a little bit of tinkering, you could become the proud owner of a T-Bird, Porsche, or Ferrari, without going into debt over your purchase. Unlike the original sports cars, though, the bodies of kit cars are made of fiberglass coated in polyester resin instead of sheet metal.

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Cartridge of Tear Gas: February 1949

This isn’t exactly a DIY project, but we couldn’t resist including it in our roundup of mail order items. Before fog horns became the vigilant civilian’s weapon of choice, people carried cartridges of tear gas in their purses as a defense against attackers. Pens could shoot tear gas at a distance of 15 feet. Unlike most of the other kits advertised in the back section of our magazine, this one could be ordered for free. Safety first.

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Radio Hat: October 1949

Long before pocket-sized music devices were invented, Victor T. Hoeflich’s Radio Hat was the frontrunner in portable entertainment. The circuit was sewn into the hat’s lining, while the radio was powered by a small external battery pack. Despite its kooky appearance, this hat was a triple threat: for just $7.95, you could make a fashion statement, shield your eyes from the sun, and listen to your favorite programs.

Zac Freeman’s Junk.


Since 1999, Zac began collecting junk found around often in the trash, then glued to a wooden substrate to form an image an image – in the case, portraits. His artworks are made by assembling on a large-scale (the pieces average about 28 “by 35″) and when viewed up close looks like a series of small objects stuck meaningless, but when seen from far away are impressive portraits.

The Triangulo House.


One of the things I appreciate more than a beautiful country, with beautiful weather, is spending the time there in a beautiful house.  The Triangulo House in Costa Rica is an amazingly modern, decadently presented space.  Everything from the glass doors, to the iron staircase over pebbles in the floor is masterfully designed, and arranged to create a house I’d love to spend some time in.  Check the method.

Ikea Science Fiction.


I recently helped my assistant move into a new place in the city, and half the time, all I could think about was NOT wanting to set up some bookshelf from Ikea with its notoriously overly complicated directions.  After a while of thinking to myself, I wondered what are the most complex set of instructions one could find from Ikea…

A Floating Pool?


A giant floating pool just off the riverside of Manhattan – for swimming and also filters and cleans the water? Why not? That’s what a group of designers and architects are proposing in + Pool (Plus Pool), a multi-purpose pool and urban revitalization concept that is in the shape of – you guessed it – a plus sign. They are looking for civic support for what is envisioned as a “giant strainer dropped into the river”, which will also serve as a public amenity and ecological prototype. We love the sexy pool images and the clever way water filtration is incorporated into the concept:

The idea would be that the floating pool(s) could be integrated into any of Manhattan’s riverside parks, adding an extra iconic element.  The pool’s configuration also allows different mixed uses: the shallower areas for kids’ and lounging pool, the deeper areas for sports and lap swimming, or for swim meets as well.


The pool walls consist of concentric layers of filtration materials that screen out bacteria, pollutants and odors so that the water within the pool is safe for swimming – reminiscent of an artificial floating trash island which can be constructed to purify a water body by filtering out impurities.  Not surprisingly, + Pool harkens back to the old days back in the 19th century when floating spas and riverside public pools filled with droves of happy swimming people existed in Lower Manhattan. Even today in NYC, there’s The Floating Lady, a recommissioned barge in the Bronx that was transformed in 2007 into a floating barge pool.